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Le jury trouve Trump abusé sexuellement et diffamé l’écrivain E. Jean Carroll dans une affaire civile

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Un jury de New York a conclu mardi que l’ancien président américain Donald Trump avait abusé sexuellement de l’écrivain E. Jean Carroll, puis l’avait diffamée avec ses démentis, lui accordant 5 millions de dollars de dommages et intérêts. Le jury de neuf membres a rendu un verdict unanime dans le procès civil.

Donald Trump a abusé sexuellement de l’écrivain de magazine E. Jean Carroll dans les années 1990, puis l’a diffamée en la qualifiant de menteuse, ont décidé mardi les jurés, infligeant à l’ancien président américain un revers juridique alors qu’il faisait campagne pour reprendre ses fonctions en 2024.

Le jury de neuf membres du tribunal fédéral de Manhattan a accordé 5 millions de dollars en dommages-intérêts compensatoires et punitifs. Bien que le constat d’abus sexuel ait suffi à établir sa responsabilité pour coups et blessures, le jury n’a pas conclu que Trump l’avait violée.

Le jury a délibéré pendant un peu moins de trois heures avant de rejeter le refus de Trump d’avoir agressé Carroll. Pour le déclarer responsable, le jury de six hommes et trois femmes devait rendre un verdict unanime.

Carroll a tenu la main de ses avocats pendant la lecture du verdict. Trump était absent tout au long du procès qui a débuté le 25 avril.

Carroll, 79 ans, a témoigné lors du procès civil que Trump, 76 ans, l’avait violée dans le vestiaire d’un grand magasin Bergdorf Goodman à Manhattan en 1995 ou 1996, puis avait nui à sa réputation en écrivant dans un article d’octobre 2022 sur sa plateforme Truth Social qu’elle les affirmations étaient une “arnaque complète”, “un canular” et “un mensonge”.

Président de 2017 à 2021, Trump est le favori des sondages d’opinion pour l’investiture présidentielle républicaine et a montré une capacité étonnante à surmonter les controverses qui pourraient couler d’autres politiciens.

Il semble peu probable, dans le climat politique polarisé de l’Amérique, que le verdict civil ait un impact sur les principaux partisans de Trump, qui considèrent ses déboires juridiques comme faisant partie d’un effort concerté des opposants pour le saper.

Jessica Le Masurier à New York
Jessica Le Masurier à New York ©France 24

“Les gens qui sont anti-Trump vont rester comme ça, le noyau des électeurs pro-Trump ne va pas changer, et ceux qui sont ambivalents, je ne pense tout simplement pas, vont être touchés par ce genre de choses”, a déclaré Charlie Gerow, un stratège républicain en Pennsylvanie.

Tout impact négatif sera probablement faible et limité aux femmes des banlieues et aux républicains modérés, a-t-il déclaré.

Les jurés ont été chargés de décider si Trump a violé, abusé sexuellement ou touché de force Carroll, chacun d’entre eux satisfaisant sa demande de batterie. On leur a demandé séparément si Trump avait diffamé Carroll.

Parce qu’il s’agissait d’une affaire civile, Trump ne fait face à aucune conséquence pénale. Carroll demandait des dommages-intérêts non spécifiés.

L’équipe juridique de Trump a choisi de ne pas présenter de défense, pariant que les jurés découvriraient que Carroll n’avait pas réussi à présenter un argument convaincant.

Trump avait déclaré que Carroll, ancienne chroniqueuse du magazine Elle et démocrate enregistrée, avait inventé les allégations pour tenter d’augmenter les ventes de ses mémoires de 2019 et de le blesser politiquement.

Parce que l’affaire était devant un tribunal civil, Carroll devait établir son allégation de viol par “une prépondérance de la preuve” – ​​c’est-à-dire plus probable qu’improbable – plutôt que par la norme plus élevée utilisée dans les affaires pénales de “preuve hors de tout doute raisonnable”. Carroll a dû montrer “des preuves claires et convaincantes” pour prouver sa plainte en diffamation.

Le procès a comporté le témoignage de deux femmes qui ont déclaré que Trump les avait agressées sexuellement il y a des décennies.

L’ancienne journaliste du magazine People, Natasha Stoynoff, a déclaré aux jurés que Trump l’avait coincée dans son club Mar-a-Lago en Floride en 2005 et l’avait embrassée de force pendant “quelques minutes” jusqu’à ce qu’un majordome interrompe l’agression présumée. Une autre femme, Jessica Leeds, a témoigné que Trump l’avait embrassée, pelotée et mis sa main sous sa jupe lors d’un vol en 1979.

Les jurés ont également entendu des extraits d’une vidéo “Access Hollywood” de 2005 dans laquelle Trump dit que les femmes le laissent “les attraper par la chatte”.

“Historiquement, c’est vrai, avec des stars … si vous regardez le dernier million d’années”, a déclaré Trump dans une déposition vidéo d’octobre 2022 diffusée au tribunal. Il a nié à plusieurs reprises les allégations d’inconduite sexuelle.

L’avocate de Carroll, Roberta Kaplan, a déclaré aux jurés lors des plaidoiries lundi que la vidéo de 2005 était la preuve que Trump avait agressé Carroll et d’autres femmes.

Le procès fédéral, présidé par le juge de district américain Lewis Kaplan, qui n’est pas lié à l’avocat de Carroll, a débuté le 25 avril. Citant le caractère unique d’une affaire civile contre un ancien président, le juge a décidé que les noms, adresses et lieux de travail des jurés serait tenue secrète.

Carroll a déclaré qu’elle avait croisé Trump chez Bergdorf alors qu’il achetait un cadeau pour une autre femme. Carroll a déclaré qu’elle avait accepté d’aider Trump à choisir un cadeau et les deux ont regardé la lingerie avant qu’il ne l’entraîne dans une cabine d’essayage, ne lui claque la tête contre un mur et ne la viole. Carroll a témoigné qu’elle ne se souvenait pas de la date ou de l’année précise du viol présumé.

Carroll a été confrontée à des questions de l’équipe juridique de Trump attaquant la plausibilité de son récit, notamment pourquoi elle n’avait jamais signalé l’affaire à la police ou crié lors de l’incident présumé.

Deux des amis de Carroll ont déclaré qu’elle leur avait parlé du viol présumé à l’époque, mais leur avait juré de garder le secret parce qu’elle craignait que Trump n’utilise sa renommée et sa richesse pour exercer des représailles contre elle si elle se manifestait.

Carroll a déclaré aux jurés qu’elle avait décidé de rompre son silence en 2017 après que des allégations de viol contre le producteur hollywoodien Harvey Weinstein aient incité des dizaines de femmes à présenter des récits de violences sexuelles par des hommes puissants. Elle a rendu public son compte alors que Trump était encore président.

Elle a déclaré que les dénégations publiques de Trump avaient détruit sa carrière et déclenché une campagne de harcèlement en ligne vicieux par ses partisans, notamment divers messages menaçants et publications sur les réseaux sociaux.

Bien que Trump n’ait pas témoigné au procès, un clip vidéo de la déposition d’octobre 2022 le montrait confondant Carroll avec l’une de ses anciennes épouses sur une photo en noir et blanc parmi plusieurs personnes lors d’un événement.

“C’est Marla”, a déclaré Trump dans la déposition, faisant référence à sa deuxième épouse Marla Maples. Auparavant, Trump avait déclaré qu’il ne pouvait pas avoir violé Carroll parce qu’elle n’était pas “son type”.

Trump a cité le procès Carroll dans les e-mails de collecte de fonds de campagne comme preuve de ce qu’il décrit comme un complot démocrate visant à lui nuire politiquement.

Son sondage s’est amélioré après avoir été accusé à New York en mars d’avoir falsifié des documents commerciaux pour un paiement silencieux à une star du porno avant sa victoire à l’élection présidentielle de 2016.

Cet acte d’accusation, déposé devant le tribunal de l’État de New York, a fait de lui le premier président américain passé ou présent à être inculpé au pénal. Trump a plaidé non coupable et a déclaré que les accusations étaient politiquement motivées.

(Reuters)

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Britain’s top 25 most stunning views ranked – and it’s lake Windermere that’s No1. Is YOUR favourite view on the list?

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One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK’s most stunning view.

Lake Windermere tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots.

Of those surveyed, 36 per cent voted the picturesque body of water in Cumbria their top choice.

In second place on the list of British beauty spots is St Ives Bay. The crescent-shaped Cornish spot received 33 per cent of the votes.

In joint third are St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Scotland – which all received 25 per cent of the votes.

One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK's most stunning view. Lake Windermere (above) tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots

One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK's most stunning view. Lake Windermere (above) tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots

One of the most famous spots in the Lake District has been crowned the UK’s most stunning view. Lake Windermere (above) tops a 25-strong ranking of views, produced by a survey of Brits in which they picked their favourite scenic spots 

In second place on the list is St Ives Bay (pictured). The crescent-shaped spot in Cornwall received 33 per cent of votes

In second place on the list is St Ives Bay (pictured). The crescent-shaped spot in Cornwall received 33 per cent of votes

In second place on the list is St Ives Bay (pictured). The crescent-shaped spot in Cornwall received 33 per cent of votes

The Jurassic Coast, a 95-mile-long Unesco World Heritage Site that stretches from Dorset to Devon, ranks fourth with 24 per cent of votes and in fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster (23 per cent).

Windermere ranking first will come as little surprise to many. One Tripadvisor reviewer said it is ‘simply stunning and a jewel in the UK’s crown’.

St Ives Bay also entrances, with one Tripadvisor reviewer declaring it ‘one of the most beautiful places in the UK’.

Third-place St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island in Mount’s Bay, near Penzance, was praised by visitors as a ‘bucket list’ destination, and fellow bronze-medal winner Cheddar Gorge has been described as ‘breathtaking’. 

St Michael's Mount (above), a tidal island in Mount's Bay near Penzance, comes joint third on the list with 25 per cent of votes

St Michael's Mount (above), a tidal island in Mount's Bay near Penzance, comes joint third on the list with 25 per cent of votes

St Michael’s Mount (above), a tidal island in Mount’s Bay near Penzance, comes joint third on the list with 25 per cent of votes

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset (pictured) comes joint third, with visitors describing the views as 'breathtaking'

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset (pictured) comes joint third, with visitors describing the views as 'breathtaking'

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset (pictured) comes joint third, with visitors describing the views as ‘breathtaking’

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park also comes third, with visitors describing the views as 'awe-inspiring'. Above is Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park also comes third, with visitors describing the views as 'awe-inspiring'. Above is Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park also comes third, with visitors describing the views as ‘awe-inspiring’. Above is Loch Lomond

The 95-mile-long Jurassic Coast ranks fourth. Pictured above is Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, which popularly refers to three chalk formations that mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast

The 95-mile-long Jurassic Coast ranks fourth. Pictured above is Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, which popularly refers to three chalk formations that mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast

The 95-mile-long Jurassic Coast ranks fourth. Pictured above is Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, which popularly refers to three chalk formations that mark the most eastern point of the Jurassic Coast 

Meanwhile, visitors have dubbed the third bronze-ranked view, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, as ‘awe-inspiring’. 

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, also appeared on the list with 22 per cent of votes (sixth).

Brits were split on their seventh choice. The following all received 21 per cent of the vote: Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, lake Buttermere and Scafell Pike mountain in the Lake District, Durdle Door in Dorset, and the Peak District view from Stanage Edge.

In joint eighth place are Stonehenge, the Shambles historic street in York, the Roman baths in Bath, and Ben Nevis, with 20 per cent each. 

In fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster, with 23 per cent of the vote

In fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster, with 23 per cent of the vote

In fifth place is Gothic cathedral York Minster, with 23 per cent of the vote

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, comes sixth on the list with 22 per cent of votes

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, comes sixth on the list with 22 per cent of votes

The Brecon Beacons, a sprawling mountain range in Wales, comes sixth on the list with 22 per cent of votes

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland comes joint seventh, with 21 per cent of votes

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland comes joint seventh, with 21 per cent of votes

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland comes joint seventh, with 21 per cent of votes

The Lake District's lake Buttermere (above) and Scafell Pike mountain rank join seventh with Durdle Door in Dorset and the view from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

The Lake District's lake Buttermere (above) and Scafell Pike mountain rank join seventh with Durdle Door in Dorset and the view from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

The Lake District’s lake Buttermere (above) and Scafell Pike mountain rank join seventh with Durdle Door in Dorset and the view from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

Completing the top ten are Robin Hood’s Bay (ninth, 19 per cent), the Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex (joint 10th, 18 per cent), the Whitby Ruins (joint 10th, 18 per cent) and the White Cliffs of Dover (joint 10th, 18 per cent).

The poll of 2,000 people was conducted in conjunction with the launch of the Isuzu D-Max with a 4×4 drivetrain. 

George Wallis, Head of Marketing at Isuzu UK, said: ‘Our findings paint a picturesque portrait of Brits’ affection for UK beauty spots. From the majestic shores of lake Windermere to the colossal charm of the Giant’s Causeway. 

‘It’s clear everyone celebrates the stunning scenery and historic gems that make our nation shine. With the Isuzu D-Max on your side, you’ll be sure to easily navigate these breathtaking landscapes and pick up where others can’t.’

THE TOP 25 MOST STUNNING VIEWS IN BRITAIN

1. Windermere, Lake District – 36 per cent

2. St Ives Bay, Cornwall – 33 per cent

3= St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall – 25 per cent 

3= Cheddar Gorge, Somerset – 25 per cent

3= Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland – 25 per cent 

4. The Jurassic Coast – 24 per cent

5. York Minster – 23 per cent

6. Brecon Beacons, Wales – 22 per cent

7= Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland – 21 per cent

7= Buttermere, Lake District – 21 per cent  

7= Durdle Door, Dorset – 21 per cent 

7= The view at Stanage Edge in the Peak District, Derbyshire – 21 per cent

7= Scafell Pike, Lake District – 21 per cent

 

8= Stonehenge, Wiltshire – 20 per cent

8= The Shambles historic street, Yorkshire – 20 per cent

8=The Roman baths, Bath – 20 per cent

8= Ben Nevis – 20 per cent 

9. Robin Hood’s Bay, the Dinosaur Coast, Yorkshire – 19 per cent

10= Seven Sisters cliffs – 18 per cent

10= White Cliffs of Dover – 18 per cent 

10= Whitby Abbey ruins, Yorkshire – 18 per cent

11= Portmeirion in Wales – 17 per cent

11= Hadrian’s Wall, Northern England – 17 per cent

11= Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh – 17 per cent

12= Castle Combe, Cotswolds – 15 per cent

 Source: Isuzu UK

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Nvidia edges past Apple and Microsoft to become world’s most valuable company on stock market

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Nvidia edged ahead of other tech companies Tuesday to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in the latest sign of the might of artificial intelligence.

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That dizzy feeling isn’t the weed – Chinese pesticides used on pot farms linked to nausea, memory loss and even cancer

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Cannabis users who get headaches from their pot may need to look more carefully at their supply.

New research shows how some of the most popular brands on California’s dispensary shelves contain alarmingly high levels of pesticides.

They can irritate the lungs, eyes, and throat and cause rashes, headaches, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Worse still, contaminants can include chemicals linked to cancer, liver failure, thyroid disease and genetic and neurologic harm to users and unborn children.

Some chemicals have been smuggled in from China — a sign of the growing involvement of Chinese gangs in legal and contraband pot farming in the US in the wake of legalization.

A sheriff's deputy takes a worker at an illegal marijuana grow into custody in Phelan, California

A sheriff's deputy takes a worker at an illegal marijuana grow into custody in Phelan, California

A sheriff’s deputy takes a worker at an illegal marijuana grow into custody in Phelan, California

Officers gather large bags of weed after busting an illegal grow in Mt. Shasta Vista, California

Officers gather large bags of weed after busting an illegal grow in Mt. Shasta Vista, California

Officers gather large bags of weed after busting an illegal grow in Mt. Shasta Vista, California

An LA Times and WeedWeek investigation probed some of the most popular brands of vapes and pre-rolled weed in the Golden State.

Some 25 of 42 legal pot products bought from stores and tested at private labs showed concentrations of pesticides above state or federal safety levels.

Most of the pesticides found were in low concentrations that could harm people who used them regularly.

The full extent of the health threat may not be known for years, researchers warned.

Vapes were among the worst offender.

Researchers found that five well-known brands had pesticide loads above federal risk thresholds for harm from a single exposure

Some products contained as many as two dozen pesticides.

The alarming findings echo the results of other surveys these past eight months.

Cannabis farmers are understood to overuse pesticides to boost profits in a tight market.

The high-value crop needs protection from the insect infestations that thrive in greenhouses.

Meanwhile, the surging popularity of vaping has driven demand for vape oils that are made from lower-quality weed, often grown illegally.

The potency of pesticides on some farms is so strong now that state investigators are urged to wear respirators and take blood poisoning tests when they come across them.

Researchers highlighted bags of illegal Chinese-label fumigants found at a cannabis greenhouse in Siskiyou County, in northern California.

Tests revealed 10 pesticides in the unbranded product, two that can kill if inhaled.

The haul included isoprocarb, a Chinese fumigant that’s not approved for use in the US.

Customers buying weed products in fancy dispensaries have no idea that their costly product was grown using dangerous levels of pesticides

Customers buying weed products in fancy dispensaries have no idea that their costly product was grown using dangerous levels of pesticides

Customers buying weed products in fancy dispensaries have no idea that their costly product was grown using dangerous levels of pesticides

The study focussed on California, but raises concerns for weed users across the country who could be inhaling similar chemicals.

Marijuana is fully legal – for adult recreational and medicinal use – in 29 states. It is fully illegal in four states.

Laws in the remaining states are mixed, meaning the drug may be permitted for medicinal use, allowed only in the form of CBD oil, be decriminalized or be a combination of these.

Poll

Do YOU think the federal government should lift its ban on cannabis?

  • Yes 1028 votes
  • No 864 votes
  • Not sure 19 votes

According to Pew Research, half of US adults say they have used pot, and nearly a quarter say they’ve used it in the past year.

There has been a notable uptick in recent years in the number of grows linked to Chinese nationals.

Some of these have popped up recently in such states as Maine and Oklahoma, with their looser rules and lax enforcement.

Fifty members of Congress in February wrote to the Department of Justice asking for more information about illegal marijuana cultivation linked to Chinese nationals.

The pesticides report is not the first scare for cannabis users.

Dozens of weed products, including buds and rollups, were recalled last month due to the discovery of a toxic mold that is linked to lung infections.

California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) reported that the products might be filled with aspergillus – a fungus that grows on plants when they aren’t stored or dried properly.

Inhaling aspergillus can cause a wide range of health issues including coughing up blood, asthma attacks, headaches, weight loss and in extreme cases, death.

There were 13 overall products that were subject to mandatory recalls including Northern Emerald’s Tyson Undisputed Cannabis Flower, a brand promoted by professional boxer Mike Tyson.

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Injured Mbappé asks for mask ideas – and receives rollicking response

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Hours after Kylian Mbappé broke his nose during France’s opening game at the Euro 2024 and was asked to wear a mask if he plays another match, the French football star asked for face mask ideas on X. His post received a flurry of hilarious responses, including some predictable, some political.

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Turkey 2-1 Georgia – Euro 2024: Live score, team news and updates as Real Madrid teenager Arda Guler scores screamer to restore his side’s lead in Group F opener as tournament debutants put up a fight

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Number of Haitians fleeing gang violence soars since March, says UN

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About 580,000 Haitians have now fled their homes due to gang violence, a 60 percent spike just since March, a United Nations agency said Tuesday.

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The Royals who shop in Co-op: As Edward and Sophie celebrate 25 years together, REBECCA ENGLISH reveals the key to their barrier-breaking success

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When Sophie and Edward tied the knot on June 19, 1999, they had already broken several significant royal barriers.

Having dated Edward for six years, the then Sophie Rhys-Jones was the first royal girlfriend ever to be permitted to stay overnight at Buckingham Palace as an unmarried woman — still a shocking proposition at the time.

What’s more, as the daughter of a tyre salesman from Kent she was, to use criminally old-fashioned parlance, a ‘commoner’ (let us not forget, when he was born, Edward was, by comparison, third in line to the throne).

And the couple’s insistence on not giving up their day jobs — she in PR and he in television production — was equally unheard of in royal circles.

But perhaps most notable was the fact that they were optimistically embarking on married life at a time when Edward’s three siblings — Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne — had all just seen their first marriages sadly end in divorce.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour at the weekend

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour at the weekend

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour at the weekend

And yet against the odds, Sophie and Edward — who were made the Earl and Countess of Wessex when they wed but have since been ‘promoted’ to Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh by the King — will tomorrow celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

In royal circles they are known as a universally happy couple who have barely (certainly not since the notorious ‘Fake Sheikh’ scandal of the late 1990s in which Sophie was duped by an undercover reporter into making indiscreet comments about the then Prince Charles, Tony Blair and William Hague, and subsequently chose to give up her PR business) put a foot wrong.

They have two children, James, now Earl of Wessex, who is currently undertaking his GCSEs and Lady Louise, an English literature student at St Andrews University who, family friends tell me, is turning into a confident young woman.

They plan to celebrate 25 years of marriage in typically low-key style, I can reveal, with a group of close pals at Royal Ascot (and not even in the royal carriage procession).

It is this careful balancing of their positions as full-time working royals with a strong sense of duty, together with their life as partners and parents, that is the secret to their success, say friends.

Prince Edward embraces Sophie after she delivered a speech on international women's day

Prince Edward embraces Sophie after she delivered a speech on international women's day

Prince Edward embraces Sophie after she delivered a speech on international women’s day

‘They are a real team,’ one life-long friend of the couple tells me. ‘There’s an equilibrium in the relationship, neither one is jealous of the other. In fact they take great pride in the other’s achievements.

‘When Sophie undertook a 450-mile cycling challenge a few years ago from Edinburgh to London there was no one prouder than the prince, I can tell you.’

According to Sophie, 59, who paid a remarkable public tribute to her husband on his 60th birthday in March, it’s also the fact that he is ‘the best of the fathers and the most loving of husbands’.

She sweetly described Edward as her ‘best friend’ — and unhesitatingly admitted that she still fancies him in a uniform.

For Edward’s part, in an exclusive interview with me to mark his landmark birthday, he notably came alive as he discussed his wife.

‘Well, you need a really good supportive network in this and family is incredibly important. I am just very, very lucky that Sophie is a brilliant, brilliant person in her own right,’ he told me, smiling from ear to ear.

Friends say the prince has never taken for granted what Sophie took on when she married him, after they famously first met at a ‘real tennis’ tournament she was doing the PR for and he was playing in.

The couple attend a D-Day Remembrance service for veterans in Alrewas, Staffordshire

The couple attend a D-Day Remembrance service for veterans in Alrewas, Staffordshire

The couple attend a D-Day Remembrance service for veterans in Alrewas, Staffordshire

Prince Edward waves at crowds on the day of his wedding to Sophie on June 19, 1999

Prince Edward waves at crowds on the day of his wedding to Sophie on June 19, 1999

Prince Edward waves at crowds on the day of his wedding to Sophie on June 19, 1999

Their close friend Mark Foster-Brown, who has known Edward since their days at Cambridge University (and was also a guest at the tournament when they first met) agrees, adding: ‘I just feel that there is a particular pride in him at what she does and how she does it. That’s very bonding, it would be in any marriage, and it certainly is in theirs.’

Sophie has become an acclaimed campaigner for men and women who are victims of sexual violence in war and recently became the first British royal to travel to Ukraine to highlight this untold story of the current conflict.

Edward, meanwhile, has taken on the mantle of his late father, not just in name but in many of the public duties he once undertook, particularly with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

While the couple would insist they aren’t doing anything particularly different nowadays — it’s just that people have started to notice it more in a slimmed-down monarchy — there’s little doubt their star is in the ascendance.

Outside work they are both very much country sorts, adoring their dogs, walking and riding.

They’re also keen skiers. Edward, in particular, is ‘irritatingly good’ and utterly ‘fearless’, says one friend. Sophie did a season on the slopes after leaving school and isn’t far behind.

The couple are known too to enjoy ‘bucket and spade’ family holidays in places such as the Isles of Scilly.

One family friend who has holidayed with them recalls a member of the public once coming up to Edward to tell him that he was a ‘dead ringer’ for the Queen’s youngest son — clearly not thinking for a second that the man queuing up to get supplies in the Co-op could ever have been him.

Above all, Sophie and Edward laugh a lot.

‘There is always something for them to giggle about,’ says a pal.

Prince William, Princess Charlotte, King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie watch the RAF flypast in 2023

Prince William, Princess Charlotte, King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie watch the RAF flypast in 2023

Prince William, Princess Charlotte, King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Edward and Sophie watch the RAF flypast in 2023

It’s unsurprising to many in royal circles that they have become role models to the Prince and Princess of Wales, who greatly admire the way they have brought up their children out of the public spotlight (at one point 16th-in-line-to-the-throne Louise even had a job working in a local garden centre for £6.83 an hour).

Sophie, in particular, has become a reliable ‘sounding board’ for Kate and their relationship has gone from strength to strength, while William enjoys an easy relationship with his uncle (which cannot be said for his dealings with Andrew).

On Monday, William was paired with Edward at the Order of the Garter service, while Sophie was seen giving him a reassuring pat on the back after the family’s moving appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Saturday, Kate’s first public appearance since her cancer diagnosis. Sophie was also seen laughing with the princess and her children at Horse Guards.

The foursome are only expected to support each other more in the years to come as the Royal Family’s youngest working royals.

Certainly, the way Edward and Sophie have supported each other since their marriage at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, two and a half decades ago, is testimony to the strength of their union.

As their friend, Mr Foster Brown, tells me: ‘The day of their wedding was the most extraordinary experience. For all of us at the time, it felt like it was an amazing thing to be part of. Here we are, 25 years later, and all of the hopes and expectations that we had on that day have been fulfilled.

‘And that’s quite something because, let’s face it, not everyone can say that.’

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‘Victory for the people’: Thai lawmakers pass marriage equality law

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Thailand on Tuesday became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic parliamentary vote hailed as a “victory” by campaigners.

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Apple shutting down popular feature just a year after launching in major blow for iPhone users

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Apple has shut down a popular feature just one year after launching it in a major blow to iPhone users.

The tech giant pulled its ‘buy now, pay later’ feature from Apple Pay, which let users take out loans for purchases up to $1,000 and pay them off in four installments across six weeks.

While the option is no longer available, consumers who have existing loans won’t be affected.

Apple’s decision to cancel its ‘buy now, pay later’ service comes as it said it plans to introduce a similar program in the fall allowing users to access loans provided by eligible credit and debit card companies. 

Apple announced it was canceling the 'pay later' option on Tuesday, but clarified that people who have taken out existing loans won't be affected.

Apple announced it was canceling the 'pay later' option on Tuesday, but clarified that people who have taken out existing loans won't be affected.

Apple announced it was canceling the ‘pay later’ option on Tuesday, but clarified that people who have taken out existing loans won’t be affected. 

‘Starting later this year, users across the globe will be able to access installment loans offered through credit and debit cards, as well as lenders, when checking out with Apple Pay,’ Apple told 9to5Mac.

Instead of working as a lender itself, Apple will focus on helping users secure other loan options that ‘will enable us to bring flexible payments to more users, in more places across the globe, in collaboration with Apple Pay-enabled banks and lenders,’ the company added.

This option will be available in the US with the Discover credit card and retail loan lenders Synchrony Financial and Fiserv Solutions that can be accessed directly through Apple Pay.

The new feature will also allow users to apply for a loan with Affirm – a buy now, pay later lender that offers short-term loans for both online and in-store purchases. 

Users will be able to add the loan option during checkout that will give them the ability to apply for the loan through a credit card and loan service or directly through Affirm.

The new loan feature will still omit any hidden fees, offer zero percent interest and allow users to split payments into four installments to be paid over six weeks.

According to a June survey by LendingTree, about 13 percent of 889 respondents said they had used Apple’s buy now, pay later feature while one in three Americans said they have considered applying for an installment loan.

Users in Australia, Spain and the UK – which previously did not have access to Apple’s buy now, pay later feature – will also have access to installment options starting in the fall.

The 'buy now, pay later' feature (pictured) allowed users to split payments up to $1,000 into four installments that would be paid off within six weeks

The 'buy now, pay later' feature (pictured) allowed users to split payments up to $1,000 into four installments that would be paid off within six weeks

The ‘buy now, pay later’ feature (pictured) allowed users to split payments up to $1,000 into four installments that would be paid off within six weeks

Apple rolled out ‘early access’ to the feature in March 2023, issuing the loans itself, but it didn’t officially launch until October.

The partnership with its former competitor Affirm could help the company expand its loan program to offer longer-term installment options, according to JPMorgan analyst Reginald Smith.

‘Affirm does not expect a meaningful impact on FY25 revenue . . . but it is hard to imagine adding a platform of this magnitude doesn’t move the needle,’ Smith wrote last week, according to the Financial Times.

The shift to partner with Affirm and other credit and debit card companies to replace the buy now, pay later option was introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in California last week.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Apple for comment.

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International

Biden to ease immigration pathway for undocumented spouses of US citizens

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday will unveil new  rules easing the process for undocumented spouses of US citizens to obtain permanent residency status, the White House said. 

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